Rich Lowry details the strategy of the Democratic nominee in the general election with his excellent column: Obama Rules.

Here are the Obama rules in detail: He can’t be called a “liberal” (“the same names and labels they pin on everyone,” as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can’t be questioned (“attempts to play on our fears”); his extreme positions on social issues can’t be exposed (“the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives” and “turn us against each other”); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (“pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy”). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.

We could take Obama’s rules in good faith if he never calls John McCain a “conservative” or labels him in any other way. If he never criticizes him for his association with George Bush. If he doesn’t jump on his gaffes (like McCain’s 100-years-in-Iraq comment that Obama distorted and harped on for weeks). And if he never says anything that would tend to make Americans fearful about the future or divide them (i.e., say things that some people agree with and others don’t).

This is, of course, an impossible standard. Obama doesn’t expect anyone to live up to it except John McCain.

The whole thing is well worth a read. As it demonstrates that every issue which may be harmful politically to Obama is labeled automatically as a “distraction,” while any negative issue for McCain is vital to our nation’s future.

Of course, the majority of the media have adopted the playbook especially Newsweek’s Obama campaign piece, which excoriated Republicans for “successfully scaring voters since 1968.” I’m sure Democrats feel that way, but shouldn’t the media be a bit more objective when writing news articles.

It reads like an op-ed endorsement of Obama, which means Newsweek has already agreed to playing the game on Obama’s home court and using his rules to determine the winner. In a year that looked bad for the GOP already, this is encouraging.